Relationships

When Did You Know It Was Love?

When Did You Know It Was Love?

I’m a sucker for a great story, especially when it involves how people came together. So, I asked some of my dearest friends (including one extra special couple) how they fell in love, and here’s what they said…

When Did You Know It Was Love?

Terrence (left) and Josh (right)
Together five years
Queens, New York

Josh: “We were both working at Disney World. I was performing in a parade, and I remember seeing Terrence in the crowd and thinking, ‘Man, that guy is dressed well.’ Then I met him later at a friend’s dinner party, and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s the guy from the parade!’ I thought he was way too cool for me because he was dressed in all vintage, and I was wearing like Nike shorts and a tank top. Terrence was always a very safe space for me. My last relationship had been horrible, but with Terrence I never had to put up a front. We went on a road trip to Tennessee, and it ended up taking 13 hours. We were driving away from a hurricane so the traffic was terrible. Sitting in that car with him all day and watching how he reacted to inconveniences, I had a quiet realization: I loved him.”

Terrence: “Josh was my first serious relationship, so I was learning how to coexist with another person. The moment I knew it was love was when we once visited New Orleans. I was sick, and he was really sweet and made sure I was looked after and still having fun. He took us to places that served soups, as well as a place to get bath supplies so we could take baths in the hotel room.”

When Did You Know It Was Love?

Karen (left) and Danna (right)
Together three years
Portland, Oregon

Karen: “We were in my apartment, getting ready for Danna’s holiday work party… she’s smiling right now because she knows the story I’m about to tell.”
Danna: “Yep!”
Karen: “Danna, like a very bad queer, did not know how to tie a tie.”
Danna: “I came out late! It’s not my fault!”
Karen: “So, I’m sitting there, tying her tie — expertly, I might add — and it was just a very close, intimate moment. I thought, ‘Gosh, what if I were tying her tie for our wedding?’ I got butterflies, and it felt like it could be something bigger.”

Danna: “There are two moments for me. Before I could tell her that I loved her, because it was still early, I would just hold her face or put my hands on her cheeks. In my head, I was saying ‘I love you.’ Eventually I told her something goofy like, ‘By the way, when I do this it means I’m feeling big feelings for you,’ still talking around it. Then that Christmas I brought her home to meet my family. It was the first time I’d brought a partner home, so it was a big deal. We were at my brother’s house, and I said, ‘My feet are cold.’ And without saying anything, Karen left and brought back socks and put them on my feet. That was a ‘fluttery’ time for me.”

When Did You Know It Was Love?

Patricia and Charles (my parents!)
Married 45 years
Owasso, Oklahoma

Patricia: “One of my best friends was taking a trip to Oklahoma, and before she left, I jokingly said, ‘Find me a husband!’ While she was there, she met him, took his photo and mailed it to me. When I got the photo, I jumped out of bed because he was so handsome! After a few weeks, we started writing letters to each other. He wrote the most beautiful letters — I still have all of them up in the attic. We even got professional photos taken to send to each other, and we flew to visit and meet each other’s families. I think it was more just that we loved being around each other and loved each other enough to keep in touch, long-distance, for so long.”

Charles: “I met her friend in Oklahoma and she told me she had someone for me to meet. I asked, ‘What does she look like?’ They showed me her picture and I thought, ‘This is a face I could fall in love with.’ Once she came down to visit me and we went to eat at one of my favorite restaurants. The next week I went back to the restaurant by myself and stared at the empty chair across the table from me. I knew I loved her, because I couldn’t imagine going there without her.”

When Did You Know It Was Love?

Mimi and Peter
Married 11 years
Beacon, New York

Mimi: “We’ve known each other since we were 13 or 14. Falling in love with him is something that’s still happening, all the time. Like, when there’s a stressful situation I’m calm because I’m with a person who feels like home. It keeps expanding, and looks like more confidence in myself because he loves me and I think he’s wonderful. I thought I was in love when we were 19 and 20, and now I’m 33 and it’s way more than I could’ve thought.”

Peter: “Mimi’s guy friends were funnier and more athletic than I was, so I didn’t think I had a chance with her. We would chat on AIM, which was my way of keeping myself in the game. Mimi would burn CDs for me and make custom playlists. I thought, ‘Ok, she didn’t just buy this off a shelf, she put some thought into it.’ Later in college, our relationship started to go beyond friendship. I opened up to her about real life stuff. I had never talked to anyone like that before. Our relationship had a lot of depth. I always loved Mimi, and that relationship where you can really talk with someone and share a life with them is like no other relationship.”

Thank you to all the couples who shared their stories with us. When did you know it was love?

P.S. A date moment I still think about and how do you know your partner is the one?

  1. Adi says...

    Ok bawling while reading this. These were so sweet. And gave me hope

  2. These stories are making me swoon!

    After a few months of dating, I watched My Person spend about 20 minutes gingerly trying to capture a flying bug in his kitchen rather than kill it. The next day, I told him: “You know what I was thinking while watching you using Tupperware to catch that bug? ‘I love that man.'”

    To which he said….”Thank you.” I still give him a hard time about that. Months later, over a bean dish, he said: “You know I’m in love with you, right?” And we’ve been easily talking about looooove ever since.

  3. margaret says...

    Ok, for this story, you have to know that my husband is very tall.
    We met when he moved into my group house, and I liked him a lot at first, but mostly because he would pay rent while making me laugh and not annoying me. Then, we went to a movie with a bunch of friends, and I ended up sitting right behind him. And he was so tall, with these swoon worthy broad shoulders. That was the first moment when things shifted. We became such good friends first, and I loved the way he thought, the way he moved through the world with such calm, his deep sense of right and wrong. I kept thinking to myself, if he doesn’t love me back, every other man I ever meet will seem so short and meagre. The greatest thing that ever happened to me is that he did love me back. It’s been more than a quarter century since then, and he is all I’ve ever wanted.

  4. Lauren says...

    I think it was our first date! We were looking for ideas and ran across an event listing for something called a Barbaric Yawp at a coffee shop about halfway between us and were both immediately like “I have absolutely no idea what this is, but I absolutely must find out.” I walked in and he just looked so excited and my gut immediately was like “yes, this is it, this is the one!” We subsequently got kicked out of said Barbaric Yawp (which turned out to be a poetry slam) because we were giggling too much in the back corner getting to know each other. So we went to a Caribou nearby and stayed until it closed. And THEN I knew for sure the morning after he slept over for the first time and I found out he loves Taco John’s as much as I do, which is so dumb but I distinctly remember thinking “I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with this man.”

  5. Lauren says...

    We’d been together (long distance) for 3 months when Valentine’s day hit. I flew to be with him that weekend and told him if he did anything romantic for me, I’d throw up. He took it to heart and we did a family birthday brunch for his grandmother’s 85th bday followed by the surprise of the day which was the Valentine’s Day package at Medieval Times. As we sipped champagne from branded flutes and ate turkey legs and posed for pictures and laughed at the absurdity around us, I knew he was special. Hours, and far too many cocktails later, when at a dive bar with our mutual best friends (we met while in their wedding!) there was one bite of queso left and I said “you take it, I love you more than cheese”. It was then I knew- it was true. I love cheese but I loved him more.

  6. Annika says...

    I still had plans to return to my job in Indonesia, but while I was in my hometown, Jonathan and I kept finding many reasons to hang out together. We took a walk on Fourth of July, and I wanted a DTR, but couldn’t figure out how to start—how do you date someone when the rest your life is elsewhere? I started out, “we seem to be spending a lot of time together…” preparing to hold forth on how this could be complicated. Jonathan said simply, “I like spending time with you.” The safety and familiarity of his kindred spirit and his honesty in pursuing a good thing that will “either end in marriage or a breakup” are still anchors for me. —We’ve been together 8 years.

  7. fae says...

    kim! i cried reading your parents’ love story! so beautiful.

  8. Lindsey Coulter says...

    Andrew and I had a very strange start to our relationship. Essentially, we dated for three weeks, and then I moved to South Korea for two years. About 18 months into this long-distance experiment, I had to come back to the States for my brother’s wedding, and of course I brought Andrew as my date. That meant the first time Andrew met any of my family was while attending a four-day wedding extravaganza with the entire clan. On top of that, we stayed in the hotel room right next door to my parents while my mom was in maximum mother-of-the-groom mode. It was bonkers; tons to do, tons to coordinate; tons of very heightened emotions. Andrew was amazingly patient, generous, helpful, kind and of full of grace through it all. While I was an emotional mess, trying to manage extreme jet lag, culture shock and challenging family dynamics, he was an absolute rock. My family adored him. At the end of the weekend, when we were sitting in the airport getting ready to board different planes, heading in opposite directions to entirely different parts of the world, I finally told him I loved him, because those words didn’t feel scary anymore. I am so grateful he stuck around all those months until I was ready to say it.

  9. Beth says...

    On the 27th of April 2018 I replied to a cup of jo newsletter which had asked “Do you have any weekend trips or outdoor adventures coming up?” because I had a REALLY good feeling about a second date that day (what a dork I am to reply to a newsletter!!). And then I went ahead and replied back to myself on June 3 to confirm, yes he IS the guy!! Now we are married and expecting our first baby in October. I still surprise myself thinking about how quickly I knew, and am so grateful too! He has the kindest heart and is my very best friend.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Oh my gosh I love that!!!

  10. Isabelle says...

    We met in our first year of university, and were paired together for a math project. Our prof gave an incentive to the class that whoever finishes first gets a twix chocolate bar (my favourite flavour!). My partner didn’t feel rushed to finish the project and we missed out on the twix bar. Months later (long after I had forgotten about the chocolate) when we started to realize we had feelings for one another, he surprised me with a twix bar. We have been together for 15 years. :)
    PS: there have been so many more moments where I have realized how much I love him. Once was when I was hospitalized for an injury, and once more recently was when I fell into a deep depression and needed the immensely tight hug that he could offer (day, after day, after day).

  11. Laura says...

    i met my husband by total happenstance in first year university. we have now been together for 15 years (!) the first night we met, it was cold and I had forgotten my mittens. He walked beside me and held my hand, switching hands every few blocks to keep one hand warm, then the other.

    later that night, we went to a seriously divey bar with fake ids and some other friends and he carved ‘max loves laura’ into the table. we had our first kiss over 25 cent shots and then kissed in a snowstorm waiting for a cab. and that, as they say, was that.

    i remember absolutely everything about the moment i saw him – and we were never apart after that night.

    • margaret says...

      I don’t know why, with so many sweet stories here, but carving “max loves laura” into a table at a dive bar . . . along with all the snow and the handholding . . . love this! This scene needs to be in a novel.

  12. Amy says...

    A couple months into dating, midwinter, we were in my tiny room in the apartment I shared with roommates. He noticed my humidifier was empty as we were going to bed and he took it out to the kitchen sink to refill it. It was such a small and random thing, but while he was putting it back together I thought, I love him. Years later as we try to re-plan our postponed COVID wedding, I think that was my mind’s way of showing me that he was someone who would quietly and confidently take care of things and who I could really trust.

    • Natalie says...

      I met my husband online and we emailed “20 questions” back and forth to each other. We’d both answer each set of questions. There was even a memorable “pizza edition”. We were long distance and before I flew out to his place for the first time, he sent me a “20 questions us edition”. We sat down on his couch to answer them in person. One question was “In one word or phrase, how do you feel about me?” As soon as I heard that question, I knew I loved him. It was my turn to answer first and I refused to answer because I didn’t want to say it first! Eventually he answered the question with “I love you”. I said “I love you too” and we shared our first kiss. It was so sweet and perfect for us. Twelve years later, my husband still swears he didn’t write that question with “I love you” in mind!

  13. K says...

    Can’t get over how these stories about the first rush of love feel like what movies and novels are based on (I screenshot so many), except even better.

    That against all odds, young or old, you know when you know that this is precisely your perfectly imperfect person for perfectly imperfect you. Reality love morphs over the years and requires conviction and isn’t always romantic in the moment, but that intuitive gut feeling of choosing and being chosen not only is cosmically bigger than you, it exists. If you want it, you can find it.

  14. V says...

    My husband and I have been together for 15 years. There have been lots of ups and downs, especially this past year. But whenever I go too far down the path of anger I remember our wedding day:

    We wrote our own vows, a blend of our own words (my idea) and traditional Catholic vows (his). We couldn’t agree on the last line we both wanted to say – “til death do us part” or “as long as we both shall live.” I didn’t want to focus on death; he didn’t want to change what he thought of as a sacred vow.

    There is a picture of the moment we said the last line, when we each changed it to the other’s preference, and it is almost blinding with happiness and love.

    Ack, I feel choked up just thinking about that moment, seven years later.

    • Brianna says...

      This is really beautiful.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Oh my gosh, tears!

  15. Lucia says...

    Our first date was in late August and on a lovely crisp autumn morning about 6 weeks from our first date we went to breakfast, bought The NY Times, and went back to his place. We were both sitting in the backyard sun reading our own sections when my now husband looked over at me and said “this is the best morning I’ve ever had”. I realized I felt the same and now it’s 13 years later and those quiet mornings together are still precious.

  16. Anna says...

    My boyfriend was fixing to go to a military training where he’d be out of contact for at least three weeks. We had just made our relationship official and were planning a movie/baking day as our last date before he left when he found out he had COVID. So we had to pivot to a weekend of virtual dates and video chats and it ended up being a good chance to talk about our views on faith, dating, marriage, etc (though it was brutal to not see him in person)!
    I was journaling about a Bible passage we’d discussed when I realized he had the qualities I’ve always wanted in a husband and I could see a future with him. The weeks he was gone were hard for a number of reasons- he was away with no clear return date, I was withdrawing from an antidepressant, I lost a family member- and I kicked myself the whole time for not telling him how strongly I felt. I thought then that I loved him, but once he was back from training and we spent even more time together I realized that I *really* loved him! Eventually it felt like I was having to physically hold myself back from saying I loved him. He first told me he loved me in a Food Lion parking lot we’d pulled into to wait out a hailstorm. It was sweet and perfect and truly one of the times I’ve felt just purely happy. Ahh, I’m getting sappy now, but I love this question and these answers!

    • Katherine says...

      I love this!! So sweet to see God’s timing in surprising ways!

  17. Lauren E. says...

    I fall in love with my husband in different ways all the time. Most recently we were at the doctor for an early OB appointment (the first one he was allowed at!) and I had so much blood taken, I started to feel light headed. He bolted out into the hallway and found me juice and something about how he unpackaged the little juicebox straw and handed it to me and then got me another in case I needed it… it meant everything to me. He’s about to be the father of our child and after 11 years together, I can’t believe the different ways I’m finding I love him.

  18. Ruth says...

    My partner and I fell in love hard and fast, inadvertently and undeniably, across an ocean and entirely in writing. We still live an ocean apart and the intensity of our connection continues to deepen in the most extraordinary ways.

  19. M says...

    Almost a month after dating my now husband we were spending a day at a beach. We were floating in the water on inner-tubes and as I was looking at him I thought so clearly in my mind “I love you”. I had never loved anyone before. A week later he told me he was in love with me, and I didn’t say it back. It was such a big feeling and I was too scared. He said the L word four more times before two months later I said it. I remember deciding on a Sunday evening while watching a movie that I would tell him that week, not having the chance to until the end of the week on Saturday, and the joy and relief that came after finally saying it. I’ll never forget the smile on his face that day.

  20. Juliette says...

    These stories are amazing!

    We met when I was 14 and started dating a year later during high school. But I broke up with him (2 times, gah!) and during the last breakup (I was 19) he told me he couldn’t be just friends and we didn’t see each other for 4 months. (I still slap myself for this moment) I was such a miserable teenager!

    When I ran in to him on the street I knew.. I had to get him back. And then I knew at 19 that I would never let him go again. All this time without him made me really see him but also myself.

    Only he just decided to go study abroad. So I waited. Eventually he would be away for 5 years. We traveled a lot to see each other an made it work. I’m 30 now. We’re married and have two kids. And everyday I look at him and I’m so grateful for the fact that we are together, even after all my horrible behavior. He was able to see through it all. He is perfect. I’m so excited for the future. I love him more everyday.

    For him: he always knew and never dated anyone else.

  21. Blair says...

    My husband and I met when we were 12 in an extracurricular band class – I played first flute and he played first clarinet, which means that we sat directly across the band arc from each other. My husband says he knew there was something special about me from the first time he saw me sitting across from him that day! We started dating after college, and have been married 4 years next month and have an adorable 7 month old baby boy.

  22. Elisabeth says...

    I had been friends with my now-husband for several years and he’d once asked me on a date, though I had said no. We lost touch for about a year.

    I had gotten a traumatic brain injury and I barely remember anything from the week after. A mutual friend thought to call him to come watch me, since I couldn’t be by myself. While he was there, my pain meds wore off and I curled up on the floor, crying in pain. This is one of the few moments that I actually remember from the whole week. He knelt down on the floor to hold me, and it felt like the most right thing I’d ever experienced in my life.

    We’ve been together for 6 years, married for 4. Still in the honeymoon stage. Don’t think that will ever end.

  23. Sansa Stark says...

    I can think of a couple.

    I met my husband in college when we were both involved in student government. It was my job to run the elections, and he was running for president.

    We really liked each other from the off, but we sort of felt like we couldn’t be 100% open about that, because he was a candidate and I was an official. We snuck to one movie (on campus, counterintuitively) the week before the election. We were waiting for some friends of his in the lobby. As he was telling me that he’d had a slight stutter as a child, I noticed he was wearing the nicest, crispest white shirt I ever saw anyone wear on a Friday night at the student free-admission theater. Somehow, those two things together showed me such a picture of the person before me. (That was Moment #1.)

    A few days later, when I had to come out to a room full of candidates and announce that he had lost the election, I couldn’t look him in the eye. Later, he said he knew he’d lost because I wouldn’t look at him. Finally feeling like we could be public about our interest in each other, we left together after the fuss had died down. He asked if we could step back into the building so he could call his mom and tell her about the results. (That was Moment #2.)

    We made it back to my dorm and lay on the floor talking for hours. He asked me, “How did you get here?” (by which he meant, can you sum up your life story for me.) I made him go first, which he did. And when he got to the end, he finished, “And then I met you,” trying SO HARD to keep his voice matter-of-fact and failing only the tiniest bit. My heart thrilled back, “Yes, I hear you, this is an Event for me too!” (So that was #3.)

    And an unrelated white shirt sequel – he proposed to me a few years later at my graduation and the only reason his family knew anything about it beforehand was because he had had to travel home to them and me for the event, had brought one white shirt, got it dirty somehow, and proceeded to freak to his mom about how he didn’t have a clean white shirt to propose in.

  24. Meredith says...

    Whenever I see an ambulance I have always reflexively said “I hope those people are okay.”

    About five years ago, I was in a relationship with a man who often got mad at and criticized me when I said this – in his mind, because they were in an ambulance, they never were. I tried to rationalize with him – maybe they COULD be with some help from medical professionals, but he continued to be mean about it until we broke up. (Thank God I didn’t stay with him!)

    When I met my now boyfriend, a few weeks after we met we saw an ambulance as he was driving me home and before I could say anything HE was the one to say “I hope those people are ok.”

    I immediately knew I loved him then. We’ve been together about a year and a half and I am so, so happy now. Life is good.

  25. Adriana says...

    My husband and I met online. We traded emails back and forth several times a day for about a month, so when it was time to talk on the phone, we already had developed a friendship. By the time we met face to face (about 3 months after our first email), I already knew I loved him. He felt the same way! Ten years and three kids later, we are still going strong! He understands me in a way few people do, and grounds me when my ideas get the best of me.

  26. Ivy says...

    I have typed out our story a hundred different ways and not a single one of them felt right. There are no words adequate enough to tell you all how deeply and quickly I fell in love with him.

    We often blurt out adorations to each other.

    “Gosh, I just LOVE you.”
    “I am SO in love with you.”
    “I love you the absolute MOST.”

    The best part is these proclamations come any time of day, even during the most mundane moments of life. It’s a magical feeling.

  27. These are all so sweet!

    My husband and I are about to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary (almost 15 years together total). We started dating when we were 19, and being in love with someone at 19 feels very different than being in love at almost 34. But I remember the first time I thought we might be in love in a real way, not just a college way.

    We had only been dating for a few months, and he came to my dorm room clearly upset about something. He’d had a fight with his dad, and while he was telling me about it, he started crying, just lying there on my bed. It was so vulnerable in a way I had never expected from a 19 year old boy, especially since my previous girlfriend had been very emotionally closed off as a way of maintaining control in the relationship.

    I remember lying there holding him as he cried, and thinking, “This could just keep going for the rest of our lives and it would feel like coming home every time I saw you.”

    And it does!

  28. K says...

    when i realized we don’t remember us introducing ourselves as if we started in the middle of a conversation

    • Katie says...

      This is how I feel! I don’t fully remember meeting my person, because we were young, tipsy and it was meant to be a fun one-night stand type of night. But I definitely remember waking up next to him felt like just picking up where we left off, we were already ‘in it.’ Of course, it took months before we actually said I love you out loud, but I felt sure I *could* fall in love with him from the start. (I love how Kim’s dad said it!)

  29. Liza says...

    Fifteen years ago, my now husband and I began dating. I had left a previous relationship with virtually nothing other than my daughter and our clothes. My daughter and I were living with one of my best friends while I worked to get us back on our feet. The one thing I did take was a dresser that I had had since I was a little girl. On an early date my now husband we went yard-sale-ing on the hunt for some new-to-me furniture and I found a desk that I thought I could make work as a near-match with my dresser. Several days later I came home to find that he had searched out draw pulls that were identical to my dresser and installed them on the drawers of the new desk so that I would have a “matching” set. It was a little thing that spoke volumes. I knew at that moment that I loved him and probably always would.

    • Ann says...

      Goh, my heart! If every person could be this thoughtful, what heaven the earth would be.

  30. Emily says...

    On my first day at my new job I had to sit with all the different departments and learn what everyone did. I sat down next to the head of the engineering department and he asked me where I was working before. I told him I had been working in retail at Burberry, then I returned the question. He said “I was a frosting engineer at Magnolia Bakery” and I laughed from somewhere deep inside and that’s when I knew. We’ve been together for 7 years and married for 4. I think about that moment often and always get goosebumps.

  31. Danielle says...

    I have always loved music and so if I loved you in high school, you got a mix tape. Boyfriends, best friends, etc. Everyone got mix tapes. My BFF saved all of hers. Anyway, fast forward five years and I meet Dusty while playing co-ed soccer. Shortly after we began dating I had to drive my BFF to an airport several hours away for a flight to the West coast. Without knowing my affinity for mixes, Dusty showed up with two mix CDs he made for me to listen to on the ride there and back. It hit me then that he was the one. Now 15 years later, every Christmas, we make a new mix for our friends and family and send it out with our holiday cards. Music is definitely one of our love languages.

  32. Katie says...

    Okay your dad’s comment made me cry!
    This is the question I’ve been stopping myself from Googling lately…I think I want a glimpse of a deep soul connection after the first or second date to know a relationship is worth pursuing, but maybe that’s not realistic. I’m excited to read through these comments to get a picture of different types of loves.

    • Katie says...

      A follow up to my own comment here: I dated someone I met at the dog park and when he introduced himself I was convinced that we had known each other before or dated in a former life. He just seemed so familiar to me, and not just in an ‘I’ve seen you around town’ type of way. I introduced him to all my friends immediately and wanted to bring him home to my parents. The relationship ended after a couple months because he didn’t see it going anywhere long-term and he had some deep-seated intimacy issues. So it’s odd that I had that familiarity and surety about him, even though the relationship didn’t last long.

    • Genevieve says...

      Of the 3 people I’ve been in proper relationships with, NONE of them were anything close to “love at first sight”, I had known each of them for months/years before it suddenly flipped to romantic feelings… I’ve always wondered how the hell that would translate into online dating, I don’t think I’d be suited to it!!

    • Tawnya says...

      I met my husband of 6 years on OkCupid and it definitely was NOT love at first sight. I almost didn’t go on a second date! But something (still a mystery to this day) made me decide to keep dating him. I didn’t know I loved him until later – oddly, after our first big fight. I don’t remember the specifics anymore but I remember being mad but also thinking how much I loved him and how I wasn’t doing what I would normally do during a fight in my previous relationships (which was either to blow it way out of proportion or ignore it while telling myself that it didn’t matter bc I’m going to end it soon anyway). Since then, there’s been so many moments when I knew with my whole soul that he is the one for me. Sometimes it’s small like when he makes me coffee in the morning before he leaves for work at 5am. And sometimes it’s big like when he had Covid in March 2020 and I thought I might lose him. If I have to sum up love it’s that the other person makes everything better – even the stuff that can’t be fixed. I could never have convinced myself on the other side of being in love that it feels this way, but it does. It’s also helpful to remember that love is a choice and not something that just happens to you. You have to choose it every day, but if it is with the right person, it doesn’t feel like a choice at all. Wishing you luck in love!

    • Samantha says...

      Hey Katie! I met my man when I was 42, and it was not love at first sight. I think I spent a lot of time thinking i should have some sort of blinding “LOVE” when I met “the one”, that I probably cut some good dude loose without giving them a real chance. I definitely echo the other comment about love being a real choice – every day, over and over. So I hope you’re not being too hard on yourself about not finding that blinding love right up front. You’ll find what works for you. Just hang loose, my goose! Xoxo

    • Sarah B says...

      there isn’t one “right” way, is there? I met my now husband weeks before my 35 birthday via OKCupid and I definitely didn’t “know” right away. 5 years, a house, a dog, a marriage and a baby later, I sometimes think back that it was entirely “right” that I didn’t know instantly that he was the one because I’d never met my person before, so of course I wouldn’t know how that felt :)

    • Katie says...

      I appreciate these responses! ‘Hang loose ‘ – that’s advice I need to take…haha

      Sarah: I love that bit about not recognizing your Person, since you’ve never encountered them before! What a sweet way to think of that experience.

  33. Sarah says...

    My husband is the older brother of one of my childhood best friends. We joke that I was the nerdy girl he talked about books with, and he was the older brother that bought the beer. We knew each other, but weren’t really friends – just kind of ran in similar social circles. We both left our small hometown for college and ended up back there in our early 20s while we figured out what came after university. By virtue of almost all our friends being elsewhere, we sort of fell into hanging out together – and then casually dating. One night, we were watching Funny Face, and I remember that first romantic moment Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn have and looking over at him and thinking, “Oh! I’m in love.”

    We’ve been together 12 years, married for 6. We still nerd out together about books, and he still buys me beer. (It’s just much better quality now!)

    • C says...

      Funny Face! My all time favourite AH movie. I just watched it with my partner for the first time, it was s’wonderful <3

  34. Alex says...

    My now-husband and I met our senior year of college and were good friends with low-simmering crushes on each other—but he had set me up with his friend, who I went on to casually date for months! That guy and I ended up breaking up near graduation and maybe nothing would have happened with my husband (who now to me was “my ex’s friend”), except at a party our mutual friends confronted me because they thought we were ALREADY secretly dating because of our chemistry. When they found out we’d never so much as kissed, they said, well if you HAVEN’T kissed, you SHOULD! Maybe I was pretty drunk, but that made a ton of sense to me at the moment, and I went right up to him and pulled him into another room for our first kiss. We were basically inseparable from then, even though the graduation clock was ticking down and we didn’t know what would happen after that.

    I knew I loved him just a couple weeks in. I slept over at his apartment and he had an early class—but he told me to sleep in and leave whenever I was ready. I was NOT a morning person at the time, so I woke around 9 or 10 and found he had made me a full breakfast—eggs, buttered toast, and a washed up apple—and left it for me on his dresser. For some reason that really got me. I remember walking back to my dorm that spring morning feeling like my blood was singing in my veins.

    But I didn’t tell him for ages. After graduation, we were crazy obsessed with each other, taking trains between our two cities to see each other—but still no “I love yous.” Over that summer, we booked an impromptu flight to Las Vegas and had the time of our lives and even went skydiving (I thought very hard about whether to say ILY before we jumped out of the plane but decided it’d be too cruel if I died hah). Ultimately, one summer night, I told him in a very roundabout way, by cataloging all the “almost” moments when I had tried to work up the courage to tell him I loved him, because….well, I loved him! I still remember how giddy and relieved he was, saying he loved me too. I’d been in serious relationships before, and he had never been in love—so he doubted his own feelings and was afraid that if he said it first, I’d pish posh him and say “THIS isn’t LOVE, silly!”

    BUT it was and it is and we just got married! Those giddy skydivers feel far away from who we are now, but it still feels like we’re cocooned in our own little world. I’m very thankful to our friends who helped me see what was right in front of me!

  35. Elisabeth says...

    My husband and I met through a university exchange. It was the famous love at first sight. I knew straight away that I wanted to marry him and so did he. We started dating without knowing each other and best of all: we didn’t even speak the same language and we didn’t live in the same country. 16 years after that first fateful meeting, we’re married, have two children and I love life with him. He taught me to meet life’s challenges with humour and that communication is key to a good relationship. There were so many obstacles when separation seemed the easier path – but we managed to make every argument a constructive argument. One that made us see each other’s point and appreciate the other side. Love is magical – but it’s also work and commitment.

  36. Olivia says...

    I met my boyfriend on a program trip to Berlin while studying abroad. I had been dating someone else for 4+ years at that point, long distance throughout college, who I planned to be with for a long time. Meeting my now-boyfriend shocked me and was a revelation of butterflies and soul-searching. Here’s a little piece of a diary entry written just a week after we met:

    Meeting someone and finding everything so interesting and wanting more of the same. Feeling afraid to feel this way and silly because it’s just been a week and remembering that all things pass and also wondering, what if it doesn’t? What then? Feeling scared of that possibility. Wanting to learn more from a person who seems to share so much of a way of seeing the world, wondering how it’s happening and why and mostly if it’s real, feeling like a week is so little time to know a person and knowing you know this person so little but wanting more, more, more.

    Imagining possibilities that shouldn’t exist and won’t exist but still feel like, what if?

    Reader, we’ve been together for five years now and he moves in at the end of the month. I still marvel at how quickly we both knew, despite the circumstances! Loving and being loved by him is one of the greatest joys in my life.

  37. Alice says...

    MY HEART!!!! I can’t cope!! Kim, your parents’ story is just the absolute SWEETEST. It’s not so much the moment I knew I loved him, but the moment I walked into the bar where my boyfriend and I had our first date, he stood up, I looked into his eyes, and I just thought “Oh! It’s you!”, and I’ve felt nothing but safe with him since.

  38. R says...

    I knew it was something special when, after a day of mooching around galleries, he was telling me about his Nicolas Cage movie spreadsheet and I thought, I could listen to him talk all day long. (I am not a fan of Nicolas Cage.)

    We told each other we loved each other in my bedroom, curled up together. We’d been dancing around it for awhile. I said, I have something I want to tell you. He said, wait, I have to use the bathroom. We told each other on the next date, that froze the moment a bit! We still joke about it.

  39. Kristin says...

    My husband and I will be married 5 years at the end of May, together for seven. We got engaged after just over a year of dating, but I knew on the second date I was going to marry him. At the end of the first date, I walked away feeling like I had known him forever, like he was a family member. That had never happened to me before after meeting someone for the first time. Then, on our second date I met a few of his friends and realized from watching how he interacted with them that not only is he a wonderful person (thoughtful, earnest, kind), but he would be a fantastic dad (he is!). And that was it… I just had a gut feeling. We said I love you a few months later, but the second date stands out in my mind as when I really knew.

  40. Ge says...

    When? Right this year. Whilst in lockdown, alone. Somewhere in the middle of all this mess, at the ripe old age of 39 I fell in love … with myself.

    • Meghann says...

      This is the best love story of all. xo

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      I love this, GE.

    • Kristen says...

      Absolutely. This! Thank you, GE!

    • OM says...

      This is me!! Word for word! Thank you for articulating this GE

    • Kira says...

      GE – This one stopped me in my tracks. I, too, share this story, though it hasn’t been a fairytale getting to this moment. Sending love out to all those who learned or are still learning this particular love story! xo

  41. Kate says...

    I love this! And totally related to Mimi’s comment about continuing to fall in love. My latest realization? We promised each other we would never get a minivan, yet three children later I changed my mind. I was afraid to tell him- we promised! Two days after I had this private thought he said “you know? I think we need a minivan.”

    My heart soared

    • Amy says...

      That’s so sweet, Kate!

  42. D. says...

    I’m a Modern Orthodox Jew, which comes with a lot of limitations, and our expectations from dating are different from the start. I started dating when I was 18, and by the time I met my husband at 27, have had SO MANY first dates! He was someone i got fixed up with before, and we had a first date already, even though I didn’t remember him (like i said – a lot of first dates…)…. but as they say, the starts aligned, and two different people tried to fix me up with him during the same week, and i though “maybe this means somethin” so i decided to give it another chance.
    Part of the whole “modern Orthodox Jew” upbringing, is that we look for a good partner, someone to share a life with, but don’t necessarily expect to fall in love before marriage.
    I don’t really remember our second date either. what i do remember is talking with him on the phone a few days before our wedding. I was with my girlfriends at a bar for a little girl night pre-wedding celebration, and i remember him saying “are you sure” and i said “that i want to marry you? yes!” (it was not what he was asking) and his reply was “how much did you drink?”. i laughed so hard!
    that’s when I knew i was lucky enough to fall in love before i got married…

  43. Marina says...

    I am getting married to the love of my life this next Saturday – not the wedding we had originally planned and after postponing last year due to this stupid Covid.

    I was already so in love with him, but last week we lost our first pregnancy. His way of being there for me while him also going through his own grief? I fell in love all over again and when I think of him or look at him, I feel like my heart is going to explode.

    I have never been more sure of a “yes” than the one I will say on Saturday. I love him SO MUCH. Can’t wait.

    • Amy says...

      I’m so sorry about your loss, Marina. Here’s to supportive, loving partners! Hope you have a lovely, cozy wedding day!

  44. M says...

    We met when we were 18, in school. We had similar taste in music and briefly dated for a bit, with me ending things cos I secretly felt he was too good for me. I’d go on to date other boys that were no good for me, but he was almost always there for me, like a safe space I could go back to every now and then. At that age I believed some warped logic that love meant being able and willing to tolerate some bs from your bs partner.

    In my mid 20s he left town for studies, and in his final term I flew over to visit. One evening after a quiet dinner in the apartment, while lying together on the couch watching TV, it dawned on me that love could be that simple, no drama, no bs! From then on it was just the 2 of us, and we got married 4 years ago.

    It’s almost 20 years since we first met. While I used to curse myself for having squandered our earlier years together, I’ve come to accept that those shitty relationships taught me important things about what I wanted and didn’t want in a life partner. I count myself very lucky that he was patient and sure enough to wait and make it work.

  45. Sandra says...

    There was a cupofjo comment that resonated with me a couple of years ago, from Meg :
    “On knowing if a person is ‘the one,’ my mother once described it like light. For some people, it’s like a lightswitch. Boom, light! Boom, you know! And for others, maybe it’s more like a sunrise. Indistinguishable at first. Light coming so gradually that you almost don’t notice until all of a sudden, you find yourself in the full bright sun. I always thought that was a beautiful and patient way to think of love and ‘knowing.’ The great love in my life was a sunrise.”

    I really really like it and for me and my partner it was exactly the same; suddenly you realize that you’re standing in the sun, full, bright and (super) hot.

    • Amy says...

      Chills! Cup of Jo’s comment section is the best

  46. Amanda says...

    My husband and I met on a bus in Seattle. It was a commuting route, so I noticed the new face and struck up a conversation (probably something about rain). Before long, I planned my commute around which bus I thought my “bus crush” would take.

    I knew it was love when I needed to drive to work, offered him a ride, and then got lost on the far side of town during rush hour. We ducked into a neighborhood bar to wait for traffic to clear and ended up staying well into the evening, talking and laughing.

    We’ve been married for nearly 12 years, have 3 kids, and just moved the family to his home country of New Zealand, so I’d say it worked out.

    • Allison says...

      Amanda, have you read Our Stop by Laura Jane Williams? It’s a romantic comedy about a train crush that’s super cute. Your story reminded me of it! You might like it if you like that type of book :)

    • Jess. says...

      My niece also married her Seattle bus crush! Their first baby just turned one. xox

    • Amanda says...

      Thanks for the book rec. I’ll check it out!

    • Kristie says...

      What a great story!
      Yay NZ – I’m here too :)

  47. Eva says...

    Kim, I beg you: release the letterrrrrrs <3

    • Shannon M says...

      YES PLEASE!

  48. Hannah says...

    I knew it was love, when I introduced my now husband to my then-four year old.
    We had been dating for a few months and they were both ready to meet each other (having FaceTimed a little first) so we went to the park. There was icecream and swings.

    Husband was nervous, and wasn’t sure that he would know how to interact with her or what to say.

    The four year old charmed the pants off him and at one stage, he turned to me and said “so this is what my life has been missing. She’s the best thing ever.”

    I was a goner after that.
    They remain best friends to this day and I will always be their third wheel.

    • Laura says...

      This is just the best!

    • Elri says...

      Omg!!! This is som beautiful.

    • Jane says...

      No it’s not beautiful, unless the dad is horrible. How painful it must be for him if his daughter’s best friend is her stepdad. My heart bleeds for him.

    • Eva says...

      @jane: it can still be beautiful. We don’t know the whole story— maybe biological dad is deceased? Or maybe he’s the other best friend?

  49. Emily says...

    I was very resistant to any kind of serious commitment. Then a year into dating, I found myself thinking about how much I dislike any girl that gets to be with him after me. I hated that some (presumably very kind) person would know about the birthmark on his right side and spend Christmas with his family and eat his perfect omelettes. Turns out, my first realization that I wanted to be with him forever was feeling utter disdain for anyone else in that role.

    (we’ve been married almost 11 years)

    • Sonja says...

      I really enjoyed this description of utter disdain for some other fake person possibly having the audacity to take what is so obviously yours.

    • K says...

      this is so funny and tender

  50. Arliss says...

    My husband and I met at the beginning of eighth grade; apparently he had a crush on me from the very first day, but I had no idea. We spent the next few years as friends, and I dated someone else, who dumped me in the middle of our sophomore year (thank goodness). My husband had waited patiently, and by the end of the school year we were starting to date. That June he went on vacation with his family, and he called me from a pay phone several times. One night, as we were saying goodnight, he said “Goodbye. I love you.” I automatically replied “I love you too” then hung up the phone and sat there staring at it. We hadn’t even kissed yet!
    Thankfully, I realized pretty quickly how amazing he was, and when he told me a few weeks after that that he wanted to marry me, I was fully on board! We got married when we were 20 years old, and our 15th anniversary is in two weeks.

  51. Annie says...

    I think I’ve just always loved my now fiancé, or had a lot of lovey feelings and a potent mix of admiration, friendship, and physical attraction since I first met him. We met in college and he was leading a student club and I remember him sending out all of these earnest emails encouraging new people to sign up for club trips and to sign up for leadership positions in the club and I remember feeling like he took things seriously to about the right extent and I liked that he was someone who had labors of love. In a campus full of preppy, nervous, fratty boys I remember he just stood out to me as someone who had conviction, a compass, and had a presence. The love I have for him now feels like the run on sentence to the admiration I’ve always had for him.

    • Sansa Stark says...

      I love this, Annie. My husband sounds like your fiance, and I couldn’t help but love him for very similar reasons. Just an initial noticing that he was different became so much more.

  52. Jenica says...

    I met my husband the summer we were 19. I had been casually going on dates that summer and I thought this was going to be just like the rest of them. Boring. I was wrong.

    We went for “coffee”. I didn’t know that “coffee” to him meant hitting the drive thru and then going for a long drive around the city and him showing me all his favourite music. Our “coffee” date began at 4 pm and I didn’t get home until after midnight. We found all sorts of aimless ways to adventure around the city together that night. While we were filling up his car at one point, it dawned on me: I don’t want this night to end. Every other date I had been counting down the minutes until I could be back at home, but this… this was different. When he asked when I wanted to hang out again, I replied: TOMORROW. Yeah, I wasn’t hiding it.

    We are 30 now and just celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary. We are different people than when we were younger, but we’ve found ways to grow and change together, and we always try and find ways to turn toward each other (especially) when life gets hard.

    • Elri says...

      I love this!!! Wonderful!

  53. Paula says...

    When my roommate said, you realize that you two are more than friends, right? And all of a sudden, that feeling of happiness, and that sense of belonging had a name. 13 years, two kids and a garden later I am still finding names to give to my feelings for him.

  54. lisa says...

    love all this love! my husband was my first real love. we met when i was 21, in a bar. we went out one time, which was no big deal. then he told me he’d be out of town for a while and asked whether he could call me. we ended up talking for hours multiple times and it felt like we’d known each other forever. it wasn’t all smooth sailing but i always knew he was special and now we’ve been married for 10 years.

  55. Alex says...

    I came to the realization that I loved my husband in a traumatic way. I had been dating my husband for about a month when I was driving home alone to visit my family for Christmas. I was on I-95 going nearly 70mph when a semi-tractor trailer truck that had been swerving (I think the driver was nodding off) drifted into my car. I felt a hard bump on my rear driver’s side and then my car being pushed sideways, which sent my car flying in front of the truck. I saw the truck’s headlights just outside my window and thought “I am going to die and I haven’t even told Jacob I love him.” I hadn’t really thought about whether I loved Jacob, but that was the one and only thought that raced through my mind during the crash.
    Well, that and I recall yelling “Oh my God!” more than a few times. I slammed into the guardrail in the grassy median, spun around I think two times, and came to a stop without a scratch on me. When I returned from Christmas break, we finally said “I love you” to each other on New Year’s Eve.

    Footnote: The truck driver just kept driving. I would like to think that the driver thought I was terribly injured in the crash and felt horrible about the whole thing, not that it made me realize my love for my future husband!

    • Lauren says...

      that is absolutely horrifying I am so glad you’re ok!!!!!!! (and that things worked out with your now-husband)

  56. Stella says...

    KIM!! your parents are groovy (and cute) af! <3

  57. Em says...

    Ohh I love this post so much!!

    This was technically before we said ILY, but my now-boyfriend and I initially dated during the summer of 2017. He was just finished his second year of law school and I was already practising, but had met him through mutual friends (and also through firm recruitment… that is a different story and sounds inappropriate but don’t worry, my firm didn’t hire him!)

    We had a fun and very steamy summer, but he was headed to Europe for an exchange term in September and I was not about to embark upon a long distance relationship with a very attractive 27 year old. “Have fun and see you later!” were my parting words to him, along with a pocket guide to Berlin marked with all my favourite spots in the city.

    Fast forward to January, he is home from exchange and calls me. I was surprised, was dating a new guy, and didn’t expect to hear from him. But we had mutual friends and worked in the same industry, so I suggested we meet up for a drink (where I intended to let him know I was seeing someone else). When I got there, he had reserved a chunk of the restaurant for the two of us, and told me about the adventures he had undertaken in Berlin and beyond, following my recommendations and places he thought I would like (!) THE CLINCHER was that he had been messaging me about his travels as he went, from place to place, what he enjoyed and what he thought I would enjoy. But I was no longer checking Facebook and had missed them all!!!!!!!!!! I was so flattered and entranced, but also sad and heartbroken for seemingly ignoring him.

    Long story short, after that amazing night I broke it off with the other fella and we’ve been together ever since. I am so in love with him, more and more and in different ways every day. Life is just better with him, and thinking of all the potential future adventures we will have together makes me giddy. I sometimes lose my breath when I think about how lucky I am, and how easily I could have lost out on the opportunity to be with this wonderful human.

    Love all the love here xoxoxoxo

    • Emma says...

      Aww, wow, this is an amazing story! Beautifully told. Thanks for sharing!

  58. Erica says...

    In the heat of summer, my now-husband and I made the long trek from the base of El Capitan in Yosemite Valley to the peak of Half Dome. We weren’t able to get passes for the cables, so we camped at the backpackers site, woke in the middle of night, and finished our hike to the peak under the light of an August full moon. We stayed up at Half Dome until dawn, watching the sunrise before heading back down.

    It was perhaps one of the most physically grueling things I had ever done, but each step of the way, I knew I could go farther because he was by my side. We were intimately connected in that journey – mind, body, and spirit. In a way, it was my meditation, each breath guiding me to a clearer insight that this person was/is my partner, the love of my life. Eleven years later, Yosemite is still the place we say our union started – our home.

    • Elri says...

      Oooooh!!!! What an adventure. So much love for this and all the other stories!

  59. Courtenay says...

    Can this be a regular column pleeeeeeeeeease!!??? (If it isn’t already:))

  60. Anonymous says...

    Awww this is so exactly relatable to me: “I thought I was in love when we were 19 and 20, and now I’m 33 and it’s way more than I could’ve thought.” My husband and I got engaged when he was 19 and I was 20 and we are now 33!! And the sentiment is exactly right – I thought we were in love then, but it’s so much better now.

    When I was younger I was afraid of getting bored being with the same person for my whole life. I LOVE BOYS and I hated the thought of never falling in love again, never having any firsts again. I even had a fling with another person six years after we were married because the commitment was making me a little crazy. But we stuck together through that and something amazing started to happen. I realised that the depth of relationship you have after 10+ years with a person is something you just can’t access unless you put the time in. And it’s so so good! I’m no longer excited by the thought of falling in love and starting over with somebody new. I want to see how much deeper this goes after another ten, twenty, fifty years! I remember Queen Elizabeth said on the Crown, “the first ten years of marriage are just an overture.” It feels true.

    P.S. I accidentally said “I love you” when we were hanging up the phone, four days after we started dating, so I guess that was that.

  61. Em says...

    These stories are all too sweet!!
    I met my partner through online dating in 2013. I had intentionally penciled him for dinner in between work and Toastmasters so I would have an excuse to leave if things weren’t going well, but he gave me butterflies and we ended up meeting for coffee later that evening. We sat across the table chatting and he got quiet, laid his hand out, palms up, and asked me place my hands on top of his… I felt such a rush of energy and such a deep connection at that moment (3 hours after meeting!) that I knew that I loved him. When the coffee shop closed at midnight, we went to Walmart and made up games because nothing else was open (lol!!), then we spent another 4 hours on the stoop of the coffee shop talking, laughing, and making out. I was able to hold in the L-bomb for a full 11 days (lol!!) and he promptly reciprocated. I’m far more pragmatic than romantic and don’t really buy the “love at first sight” deal but, gosh darn, I knew that first day: he was and always will be my person.

  62. Silver says...

    This was so very very sweet! Your parents are the BEST – my eyes started to cry when your father returned to his favourite restaurant and realised it wasn’t so great without her sitting opposite. Are they really so completely sweet? (I’m voting for a few sessions with this amazing couple – a long lasting love is the finest thing on the great grand planet).
    I also loved it when Mimi said that falling in love “is something that is still happening”. I have been with my husband since 1997, and I couldn’t agree with her more. I love my husband in ways I never thought were possible, or even important. When we met we were young, sexy, gorgeous, and healthy. We were wild and rebellious. We were going to become flatmates, but the night before we were to sign a lease he told me couldn’t move in with me. I said “I talk too much – I promise I’m quieter at home”. He smiled a sad smile, and told me he had fallen in love with me. My stomach hit the floor and I wanted to vomit – it was painful, then light. I looked at him and suddenly I knew the same “Oh, I love you too”. We hadn’t looked for love in one another. But 24 years later I think the sun rises and falls with the smile on his lips. His kindness is the sexiest thing I have ever known. I’ve spent the last 8 years really sick, we’ve spent so much money chasing chances in foreign hospitals and dealing with side effects of medicine. I’m overweight and in pain, and he doesn’t see it. He chases me around like I am still the woman he first met. He makes me want to live with a vigour that defies reason. Love is the most magical thing on this entire earth, and despite everything life throws, I know that having him by my side makes me the most blessed human being on this earth. To love, and to be loved, what a miracle. I wish everyone could know something like what Ive known all these years. It’s so lovely to read these stories, form so many who have such love in their lives. Thanks for this segment, it’s beautiful.

    • Jill says...

      how beautiful!

    • Anna says...

      Hurrah!!

    • K says...

      beautiful

  63. CC says...

    I love this post and all the stories featured in it. Thank you to all of them for brightening a stranger’s day with wonderful stories!

  64. Taylor says...

    I liked my husband so much right away. Was absolutely giddy (and still am!) about him because every new thing I learned about him I just deeply liked. I don’t know if there was a moment like “oh god I love him” but the moment I knew he loved ME was when I got my car impounded for having a lapsed registration two blocks away from my job (three days into my new job, which was my dream job)–I couldn’t miss work to get it sorted and I didn’t have any of the information that I needed on me (title, proof of residency). I called my husband (then boyfriend of 5 months) and he left work, went to my apartment, found all the necessary paperwork, filed new registration online at the DMV, WENT TO THE DMV for me, printed out the proof of new registration, drove to where my car was impounded and waited there for me until I could leave work. You don’t go to the DMV for someone else unless you love them.

  65. Sara says...

    We broke up (well, I did the breaking) and after we had been apart for a while I realized that I felt less like myself when he wasn’t around. That was over 20 years ago and I still feel that way!
    Getting back together was the best decision I’ve ever made.

    • Nicola says...

      Same here! We dated in our early twenties which was just fun, and then broke up when things started to trail off. We only lasted a month apart before we realised how much we valued eachother.

      At our wedding my maid of honour reminded me in her speech that we organised a big girls dinner to celebrate my new singledom. I had a fabulous time then confessed to her at the end of the night that actually I wasn’t single anymore…. that anecdote brought the house down!

  66. LSH says...

    My now husband and I have actually known each other since we were 3 years old as we attended the same preschool (I also met my best girl friend in preschool also – I feel so lucky to have had these treasured people in my life for so long!). We went to different elementary schools and he later moved in down the street from me, but he and I were in different social circles in middle school. He always seemed so cool, so mysterious, so out of my league. We had a class together our junior year of high school and started chatting thanks to some mutual friends. One of those friends let me know that he liked me and I was sure she was mistaken – there’s no way this handsome, confident guy would be into me! But it gave me the nerve to call him (remember when people talked on the phone as a precursor to dating?!) and we talked and talked for a few months before I made the move to give him a handmade valentine to let him officially know that I liked him too. I also invited him on our first date shortly thereafter (it was his birthday and I had no clue what to give this guy I was really into, but didn’t know exactly what we were yet so I asked him to dinner). As others have described, I could feel myself starting to fall for him more and more as time went on. About two months into being official, he was dropping me off at my front door one evening and as he hugged me he looked at me and said “Guess what?” and I just blurted out “I love you!” It was fairly uncharacteric of me, but I just knew even at 17 that our connection was something incredible and I could see myself spending the rest of my life with him. Luckily he too was going to tell me he loved me and here we are almost 20 years later still very much in love, married for 12 years with a 5 year old daughter. Also, I’m realizing for the first time as I type this just how much shy little 17 year old me took the lead and was the first one to call him, ask him out, and say I love you and now I’m very proud of how bad ass that is!

  67. Joslyn says...

    My now husband and I were introduced by a mutual friend and dated a few times before going our separate ways. Five years later we saw each other at an event to celebrate our mutual friend. Seeing him across the room, I just had to go over, buy him a martini, and lock him down.

    The moment I knew I loved him was a few weeks later when I got a little tipsy during wine tasting with the girls and I came to his apartment and he made me the most delicious fried potatoes with a runny egg and had me nap. So simple, but so indicative of the kind person he is. The person who is an introvert and shows his love through cooking for others.

    I never thought to ask him when he knew. But one day we were walking with friends in Prague, and my best friend asked him when he knew. Without missing a beat he said, “on our first date”. I responded, “when I bought you the martini?” And he said, “no, the one from years before, I always knew you were the one.” I was floored. Turns out when I spoke to his best friend awhile later, he said, “yes, he called me that night and told me he met the one.” It makes me sad that it took me so long to find my way back to him, but I am so incredibly thankful that he was so sure and waited.

    • Jen says...

      This is so beautiful!!!

  68. Rose says...

    This made me cry! I love love!

    I knew I loved my wife really early on – like 2 weeks in early! We were having wine and cheese on her bed. I was talking animatedly with my hands (old theater kid habits die hard) and I sloshed my glass of red wine all over her white duvet. I froze – between being intensely chastised during my childhood for doing even the most minor things wrong around the house and a past relationship where my partner would get mad at me for any stain or mess, I was certain she would be mad at me. As I braced myself, she laughed and threw her own glass of wine on the bed. In that exact moment I knew that I loved her AND I knew I would always love her.

    Sigh. Now I’m crying again!

    • Amanda says...

      Oh Rose – this is like a sweet romantic movie scene. I love it!!

    • E says...

      Crying!! This is so amazing!

  69. AJ says...

    Oh goodness, this has really touched me! What a gorgeous bunch of people, and gorgeous stories. Kim, what wonderful friends and parents you have… this whole article radiates the joy of love!

  70. diana k. says...

    Ahhhhh so much romance!

  71. Heather says...

    One night my boyfriend and I were preparing a dinner of pasta and garlic bread for our friends after a day of wine tasting. We were all tipsy, and while he and I cooked in the kitchen, his friends were playing music and dancing and laughing in the living room. I grabbed his hand to dance with him and he was instantly angry and said “Why are you trying to ruin the garlic bread? Why do you always deliberately try to sabotage dinner?” We had only been dating for a few weeks at that point and had never cooked together before, so that guy had some issues. Needless to say, that relationship ended pretty shortly after that night. Flash forward to a year later and I was at my new boyfriend’s house and we were cooking of all things- pasta and garlic bread. Harvest Moon by Neil Young came on and he grabbed my hand and started to dance with me. I said “What about the garlic bread, it might burn.” He said “Who cares about the garlic bread?! I’m dancing with my lady!” I had never told him that story about my previous boyfriend and I knew in that moment that he was the guy for me. We have been together for 19 years now and he continues to find the joy in the small moments and still dances with me in the kitchen.

    • Denisse C. says...

      This is beautiful! Thanks for sharing it.

    • Rose says...

      I love this, Heather!

  72. Dana says...

    After the first few dates with my husband, almost twelve years ago, I wrote “he is the puzzle piece that I know will fit before I even try it, standing out from all the others scattered around him.” So…I guess I knew right away.

    • Vero says...

      Wow, this is such an accurate feeling to how I felt with my partner. The puzzle piece that fits!

  73. Hilary says...

    The first time I fell in love, I had no idea it was happening. Then there it was, and nearly consumed me in its bonfire. I still marvel at the intensity of it, which ended in a heartbreak I never really “recovered” from; it’s like a limp I live with after a bad accident. I can walk, but not the same way I could before.

    My second love, with my now husband, came on fast and hard, too – and this time I knew exactly what it was. I just closed my eyes and held on. 16 years later, I marvel at longtime love’s wave-like quality, at least for me in this relationship. Sometimes the wave feels far out at sea and I came barely even see it, let alone feel it. Other times, it comes crashing over me and I can barely stand, just like 15 years and 11 months ago. I think love is the most glorious and mysterious thing on the planet. Please do a series like this, I could read these stories all day!

    • Susie says...

      I related to this comment so deeply, and I love the metaphor for love as a wave. Thank you for sharing! xo

    • Amelia says...

      It’s wonderful to find someone whose experience I relate to amongst these many stories! I, too, had a first love that left me with a “limp”. I don’t often hear others talk of (or admit!) this.

      The wave analogy also describes my experience of marriage. Reassuring to see it stated so simply. Thank you for sharing!

    • CHRISTINE says...

      I still marvel at the intensity of it, which ended in a heartbreak I never really “recovered” from; it’s like a limp I live with after a bad accident. I can walk, but not the same way I could before.

      I have never heard anyone describe this so perfectly.

  74. Andrea says...

    Your parents’ story!!! Someone call Nany Meyers, I want to see the romcom of them! 🥺💗

  75. DC says...

    I started a new job as a research assistant at a university and the professor took me around to meet all the grad students and postdocs I’d be working with. That evening I had dinner with my two best friends and told them I’d met the man of my dreams. That was May 1, 1986 and I still feel that way!

  76. Carly says...

    My husband and I met in university. Weirdly, we knew it was love on our first date. We went out for dinner and barhopped around Toronto. It was SO MUCH FUN – I remember feeling “like a movie”. We stayed out late, exploring the city’s neighbourhoods by foot, getting super silly and giggly at any dive bar that looked mysterious. We kissed as we were going on our respective ways home. I really laid it on him – I must have been feeling that extra brave you get when you’re feeling cute and tipsy. The whole night felt so grown up then, but feels like the definition of carefree youth now.

  77. Rachael says...

    D and I were born almost one month apart. Our dads were childhood friends and are still friends to this day, so we have known each other our whole lives. We grew up as friends and lost touch when we both went away to college. Two years after we graduated, we ended up living in the same town. We reconnected (as friends) and eventually became roommates!

    We had been living together for about a year, and I was in a long-distance relationship at the time. D was going home to see family, so I caught a ride to see my then-boyfriend. At the end of the trip, my boyfriend and I had a fight, and I first realized that maybe D and I could be more than friends when I was so relieved to get in his car and go home with him.

    Fast forward another year and D and I spent the holidays with my family as a couple. I knew after that trip that I loved him. :)

  78. Nicole says...

    When I’m asked how I “knew” about my husband, I say, “How do we know when we’ve found the one? Well, how do birds know when it’s time to fly? Instinct, I think.”

  79. Shelley says...

    I was jumping and squealing at your parents love story. All of these are wonderful but omg how romantic!!

  80. Amy says...

    My mom was the new girl in town, aged about 14. My dad–one year younger–was deputized by the other boys to sneak a look at her in the town movie theater, to let them know if she was cute. (This was back when even very small towns had single-screen theaters.) He crept along the aisle until he got to her row, leaned way over–and fell out in the aisle. I think he knocked over someone’s popcorn, too. At any rate, there was a stir. Dad remembers reporting that yes, she was very cute. Mom remembers thinking something along the lines of “what a dork.” It’s not always at first sight. :) But they began dating about a year later. This year is their 52nd anniversary.

  81. Erika says...

    I had dated a few guys but never felt a connection and was even a bit embarrassed for my family to meet any of them. As soon as I met my now-husband the first thing I thought was “I could take him home to meet my family”. I felt that connection and love-at-first-sight even though I was never sure I believed in it. It took awhile to actually say it out loud – he said it first and didn’t give up on me when I was too nervous to admit it vocally for a bit longer. We’ve been married 20 years.

  82. Lisa says...

    The stars in the sky
    Are there just for you
    So look twice
    Before turning your back
    And walking away
    Towards the light

  83. Tara says...

    MORE FROM Patricia and Charles please. The polyester. The piano. The letters. wowowow.

  84. anon says...

    My story is a little embarrassing so I’ve never shared it before! What better time that anonymously on the internet?!
    We were a few months into a really fun, but casual relationship. I definitely was into him, but I knew for sure it was love when I used a VC/Sponge as protection for the first time and had a panic attack when I started to feel sick once I had inserted it (I think just anxiety more than anything). Instead of the spontaneous sexy moment I was originally going for, it lead to an evening of him so sweetly calming me down and then reaching inside to help me remove it – SO intimate and SO awkward for me, especially early on in dating . While I was recovering from the whole debacle later that evening my overriding thought beneath the embarrassment was “oh my god, I love this man!” He was so gentle and loving and cool about the whole thing – how could I not fall completely head over heels? That was 12 years ago now :)

    • Em says...

      Oh, Anon! I can fully empathize. A few months into dating my partner, I decided to try a menstrual cup. Well, it suctioned to my cervix, so I embarrassing recruited him to help me pry it out with a sanitized spoon. When that didn’t work, he took me to the ER and held my hand while several medical professionals worked to remove the “foreign object.” It was humiliating, yet so intimate to share the fear, anxiety, whole experience with someone so understanding and calming. It’s been 8 years now and we still laugh about it all the time!

  85. Annie says...

    We knew each other because we had met in an English language tutorial in 1983 but only in that context. For the next two years I didn’t even see him around until we met up again in our final year in a Commonwealth Literature tutorial. It was a mutual friend who properly introduced us completely by chance. I knew I was a done deal when he walked into a party and I felt everything in me just drop…
    One proper date and I went back to his house and never left. Two days later it was I love you. Married almost 31 years now. Sometimes I am still amazed by all that.

  86. Olivia says...

    Aw, I love this!

  87. Alexandra says...

    This is so heartwarming!! At the end of last year, I left an abusive relationship of 3.5 years. It’s been a challenging period of time and I often feel like I’ll never find the healthy relationship I so want but this post gives me hope that there is real love out there <3

    • DC says...

      Glad your free from an unhealthy relationship and hope you find true love soon.

    • Jessica says...

      Oh Alexandra, I have such hope for you. You are free now, and I know that you will experience romantic love again, but also see all the kinds of love the world has for you! Friends, strangers, nature–I hope they all welcome you back into the world!

  88. Alison says...

    I was the third wheel of my best friend and her boyfriend in Hawaii. We were the 3 musketeers! One day, her boyfriend’s childhood bestie moved back to the island and we ran into him at the beach that day. I thought he was SO cute. My friend said we would make cute babies. Her boyfriend jokingly went up to him and asked if he wanted to make out with me, while my friend and I giggled and hid in the ocean!
    He said no (haha!), but ended up leaving his phone number on the windshield of 3 different red trucks in the parking lot- he couldn’t remember which car was his friend’s.
    Thank goodness I was the only one who contacted him. We fell in love so fast- and now we are married, and my best friend and then boyfriend are married now too!

  89. CS says...

    I loved this post. Thank you.
    Every one of these love stories made me smile and almost tear up, if I’d let myself. I loved your parents’ story. How sweet, your father looking at the empty chair. Oh my heart.

    Something that really struck me: Hearing Josh describe that moment when he knew he was in love, because this is the same way I have realized I am in love… just a moment of recognition, surfacing because you are seeing the person for who they are. It’s like an understanding that surfaces: this person is someone I love. The love is already there, it already exists.

    • AJ says...

      Oh my goodness… CS that last line… it is true!

  90. Heather says...

    I knew I would marry my husband the night we first kissed. My heart beat so loudly and so hard, I thought it would fly out of my chest right up into the stars. I ran away so fast after that kiss because I was afraid of a love so big. 30 years later we are still married, still in love and I still get weak knees and a beating heart thinking about that kiss.

    • Sage says...

      Swoon :)

  91. Rue says...

    We knew early and found that terrifying. It felt like a warm slow sunrise, but because of earlier less than healthy relationships, that warm slow sunrise was instantly recognizable as different, and part of me was *terrified* by that. Just want to put that into words in case anyone else is feeling that “new relationship is so good I want to bolt” feeling that I had.

    But with all that in its place, it was very sweet. We still laugh about when, by date three or so, he started to tell me he “cared about me deeply”… aka too terrified to say “I love you” after such a short time, but very much feeling it.

    If I had to pick one moment for me, it would be when we were texting after our (incredible) first date and he said something like, “don’t worry Rue, you already have all of my attention.” It felt like a key turning and a bolt unlocking, with an audible click. I realized how much about my past relationships and family interactions had been based on this core assumption that I had to capture attention or interest constantly, or I’d loose the other person. I could have never even articulated that out loud at the time (although I see it better now thanks to our relationship and a ton of great therapy). For him to know exactly how to reassure me (after only one date!) that this was a big and stable thing, that it really was the warm slow sunrise I thought it was and hoped it really truly was. My breath catches even thinking about it now. That was about three years ago, and we will be married this fall!

    • Joey says...

      Very much needed to read this today <3

  92. Katie says...

    Thanks, Kim! This got me texting with Danna who was actually my roommate when I met and fell in love with my husband over 10 years ago!

  93. Mikayla says...

    It was our senior year of college. We saw each other every day between classes and a student organization we co-lead. We had HUGE crushes on each other. I never made a move because he was moving out of the city right after graduation to work for a big corporation. He was the pride of our little department’s faculty and the envy of the rest of the students. I had my own issues at the time and knew that signing up for any relationship at all, especially a long-distance one, was a poor choice. By the time the last month of our college careers had come along, I resigned myself to chalking it up to a missed connection I’d wonder about for the rest of my life.
    Then we were sitting next to each other in a mucky-smelling classroom for one of those visiting lecturer sessions you attend as an undergrad for extra credit. Seconds before the lecture started, he turned to me and said, “I’m not taking the job. I called them this week and turned it down.” We started dating about a week later. As he explained years later, the loss of job security was worth it just for a shot with me; he never questioned it, then or now. And that decision set the tone for the rest of our relationship: I have never felt more treasured or valued by another person than him my whole life.

  94. Rachel Adrianna says...

    My bf and I met in October 2019 and while it only took him a few months to know I was The One (which is so swoon-worthy now, but it made me feel lots of guilt and anxiety at the time, which is something that, as women, we should not have to experience just because our feelings are what they are), it took me 6 months from us meeting to realize it.

    I finally realized that he was The One after spending a lot of time together early on in the pandemic. I’d broken my foot and he would visit and take care of me for 11-12 hours every Saturday. Seeing how unselfish and effortlessly loving he was made me realize that in spite of my fears about a serious relationship, I’d fallen in love with him, “slowly, and then all at once.” (Thank you John Green for that quote.) And now we’re planning on forever <3

  95. Genevieve says...

    We were in the first few months, still getting to know each other and I thought I had to be “on form” all the time. He was round my house and walked into the living room with a blanket over his head and did a very nonchalant impression of a vampire. I remember clearly thinking for the first time “this is definitely the person I want to spend my whole life with”. 😂
    We have lived together for 2 years now and it is just such a joy to be around each other every day ❤️

  96. anne says...

    these are wonderful and beautiful and this would be a great series, but oh man now I have never felt more _single_ in my whole life….

    • Anonymous says...

      Enjoy your singlehood, Anne! I have been married over a decade and it has been the loneliest experience of my life.

    • AJ says...

      Hugs to both of you… Anne and anonymous x

    • anra says...

      All spring I’ve been telling myself, over and over, that I am very loved, truly loved – by ME.

    • G. says...

      Anra,
      I so appreciate you sharing your comment! I struggle with the phrase “you are/I am loved” that yoga teachers/mindfulness guides often offer, because I’m just like “by who?!” The passive voice of the phrase can really emphasize my loneliness. But your take on it is so special. Maybe I will try adding “by me!” in my head next time :)

  97. A mutual friend introduced us at a party but before I saw him I heard his voice (he’s very loud & boisterous) and it was like lightning. I had been dating for a while and every time I went out with someone I was like “is this it?” But when I met Michael I just knew. 21 years later and I still know :)

  98. Jess says...

    Awww, Kim! Your parents’ story is the absolute sweetest!

  99. Marisa V. says...

    My boyfriend turned husband and I had been arguing earlier in the day and while we were out, I found a $5 bill on the ground! Rather than keep it for myself, I looked up at him and said “Let’s split this.” In that moment, although I was upset with him, the fact that I had the desire to split my treasure with him sparked the little voice inside me to say “I love this man.”

  100. Annie says...

    I realized I loved my now husband, about two months into dating. I had to bring him to the ER in the middle of the night because he needed emergency surgery. I was so fearful and helpless. I remember sitting in the waiting room and thinking “please let him be ok, I love him and he doesn’t even know!”.

    We’ve been together now for 12 years and much like Mimi the love continues to grow and expand. He currently has to work in person while I’m able to WFH, and every day when he texts “on my way home” or “just got on the subway” my heart flip flops and I feel butterflies just like I did when we first started dating.

  101. Elif says...

    Every time I happen upon my husband unexpectedly there is this brief moment before recognizing him when I think “Wow, what a cute guy! Just my type.”

    • Denisse C. says...

      This is so sweet! Relatable.

  102. Andrea says...

    Oddly, I had a feeling I loved my husband before I met him (long story).

    He said he knew he loved me when a stranger sitting next to us at a minor league baseball game asked me to fill in for a coworker who ghosted him and I said yes. The kid worked at Applebee’s and he and the coworker were supposed to be the entertainment at the 7th inning stretch. He dressed up like a bee and I dressed up as an apple and we were in a base relay with two little kids from the audience.

    I find it funny that that is what tipped the scales. I mean who wouldn’t jump at the chance to do something so ridiculous??!?!

  103. Candice says...

    I knew before we met! We had been chatting on an internet dating site for many months right as I was finishing up my last semester of undergrad. We lived several states away so it put off our initial meeting for awhile. He was so different than anyone I’d been interested in before and acted like a grown-up and made me laugh!

    For my husband, I’d say: We’d gone to a lake house in MO to hang out with his best friend, Joe, about a year into our relationship. I think this was the first time I’d met Joe? My now-husband was on the 2nd story deck chatting down to him and said, ‘I’ll be right back, I need a drink.’ And just as he said that, he turned around to me handing him his favorite cocktail and the timing was so impressive everyone from the lake house still talks about it!

  104. Sonja says...

    My husband and I didn’t know each other when we met – like it wasn’t at a friends party or in class or at work – it was literally one stranger buying coffee and one breaking a cash register while distracted by the others handsomeness. We ran into each other a couple more times before we got coffee and that was the beginning. It wasn’t fireworks or a lightning strike or some will they/won’t they thing or anything that my 20 year old self thought falling in love was at all. It was like inching closer to a fire. I just got more and more comfortable with the warmth on my face and the heat in my belly until one day I realized I was deliciously on fire.

    • Cynthia M says...

      Love that description!

    • MaryB says...

      Sonja, that last sentence just *slayed* me.

    • anra says...

      That scene from Bridgerton: “I burn for you”, “I burn for you, too!”, haha

  105. Tess Williams says...

    Crying here over Mimi’s description: “It keeps expanding, and looks like more confidence in myself because he loves me and I think he’s wonderful.” I love this so much!
    I also have been with my husband since we were 16 and we’re now in our early 30s- and everything she said rings so true for me. Marriage isn’t one relationship, its so many different relationships between you at different points in your life!

  106. Lydia says...

    I had brought home several boyfriends over the years and before doing so I always felt the need warn my family about certain things they might not like about them. Looking back, those were clearly things that *I* didn’t like about them. When I started dating my now husband of 11 years, I thought about bringing him to meet my family… and I was like, “wow, I love every tiny little thing about him… no warnings needed!”
    After 11 years, I can say, it’s really an incredible love. So secure, so fun, so fulfilling. I wish it for everyone who wants to find it :)

  107. Amanda says...

    I love these stories so much!

    One week after our first date, it was Valentine’s Day and I was working a night shift in the ER. My now-husband brought me flowers and a pint of Ben & Jerry’s that we shared in the bed of his pickup in the ER parking lot during my break. After walking me back inside, he offered to run to the store and buy my co-worker a pound of butter so that she could go straight home in the morning to make her kids breakfast instead of having to stop at the store – he had overheard her talking about it when he arrived.

    We both exchanged “I love you’s” ridiculously early, and I moved in with him within three months of our first date! Now we’ve been together 13 years and married for 3. He’s always been unfailingly kind, among so many other things, but I’m not sure I will ever remember anything he’s done more than buying that butter for my coworker. It still gives me butterflies :)

  108. Ann says...

    My BF and I have been together for five years. We were both in the midst of hard divorces when we started spending time together, reconnecting since we had been in the same friend circle throughout our marriages. Our relationship sparked lots of anger with the soon to be ex spouses and caused great consternation. Meanwhile, my father was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, and we both had children struggling with fractured homes. I think I recognized the love, because there was such turmoil, sadness and grief around us, yet I felt a bit of pure happiness…along with some guilt about that happiness. We often marvel at the relationship now, borne from ashes….and, that at our age (I turn 52 tomorrow), we managed to find a peaceful and accepting love.

  109. Sage says...

    We hung out one time and … never stopped hanging out? It was as though I moved in that first week. I had been planning to do another internship out of state and was like.. absolutely not, can’t do it. We just clicked. I had been with plenty of dudes and ladies beforehand but had never felt as understood and accepted by someone right off the bat. Got married within a year of meeting each other; it’ll be our 4th anniversary this fall. :)

  110. Emily says...

    I did not believe in love at first sight until I met my partner. It was an instantaneous, “Oh my god. THERE you are.” Three weeks later we said it, and a year and a half later it grows every day.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      I love this <3

    • C says...

      Basically same, Emily! And ten years and a child later it is still growing! <3

    • Sonja says...

      THERE you are. Beautiful.

    • Gabrielle says...

      Emily, this was my experience with my partner, too. About 15 minutes into meeting I thought, “Oh, there you are… finally!” He fulfills all that I was looking for and I still feel so assured by him 2 years later.

    • Em says...

      Oh, Em! I love the visual of, “oh THERE you are”… as if love mimics the excitement of finding your comfiest sweatshirt, which has been missing for a few weeks. I had the same experience with my partner 8 years ago, and it just keeps getting better. Keep trusting that feeling, Emily–it’s real. <3

    • EB says...

      I LOVE this description. I totally agree… The moment I first met my husband I just knew he was so special and that I loved him. I had never felt this about anyone before or since.
      It’s a long story but fast forward a year later and the DAY he was praying for confirmation about whether it was definitely right to propose to me… Someone (a family friend) GAVE HIM A DIAMOND RING to give to ME! (Neither of us had much money back then). Anyways over a decade later I’m still wearing that beautiful ring from my handsome guy! :-D

    • Sansa Stark says...

      That’s exactly how my heart felt, too. Isn’t there an Internet meme that goes around about how “love is when your soul goes, “Oh there you are, I’ve been looking for you.”

  111. Kirsten says...

    My husband is a foreign service officer (a diplomat) and was in training for his first overseas assignment when we met. We both went into the relationship knowing it wouldn’t last more than a few months since he’d be moving. I realized I was in love when I thought about what I’d say if he asked me to go with him (a completely imaginary situation). I knew I’d agree to go, even though it would mean making personal sacrifices, even after only knowing him a couple months! We ended up breaking up when he left for his assignment, but stayed in touch here and there. When he returned from his tour two years later, he reached out and, despite all my friends’ well-intentioned warnings, I agreed to see him. We ended up dating again, getting engaged, having a courthouse wedding, and moving overseas within the next 10 months! Still married nearly 8 years later and still making sacrifices in the name of love!

    • Elizabeth says...

      My husband was about to leave for a multi-year European business rotation when we met – why did we have to meet THEN? But we knew. We had three months before he left, and then we visited each other every six weeks for the next two years, and then he came home and a year later we were married, and that was 13 years ago and two living kids and one stillbirth and two miscarriages and one dead parent and a host of memories together later and we still know. Best compliment we ever got is from my college friend who called us “solid,” which is exactly what I think – underneath whatever’s going on in our lives we just fit. It never goes away, that fitting together, and I am so grateful.

  112. S says...

    I saw my husband across the room at a party and I just knew with a certainty that I had only felt once before – when I met my dog. My husband does not appreciate this comparison,
    but both of my experiences with love-at-first-sight really worked out for me.

    • Mikayla says...

      OMG I love this so much!!!

    • C says...

      Hahaha, excellent. I love telling and re-telling my dog about the day we met, so I get this.

    • Genevieve says...

      Haha love this

    • Jean says...

      Hahaha! that’s so good!

    • Rue says...

      I got my dog as date ~3 with my now-fiancee! I tried to be all casual like, “oh I already have plans to go pick up a rescue dog, and you can tag along or whatever if you want to but like no worries if you don’t want to make the drive.” He came with me to get the dog, obviously. He knew what was up.

      And I wouldn’t put down the dog who’s now mine. I was in a meet and greet room where they brought in several dogs, but he was the first one in the room, and I barely put him down the entire visit. The shelter director said, “you know, you don’t have to keep meeting dogs if you already found yours.”

    • Alex says...

      Bahahaha, I love this story so much I read it out loud to my husband, and he also finds it hilarious.

  113. Agnès says...

    I love hearing older couples’ stories! (or longer couples I should say?). I always thought romantic love was a big lie; but then I met my husband and it was so easy and evident! All these novels and movies were right! And it’s such a luck.

  114. Nicola says...

    All of these couples are just adorable! Thank you for this beautiful post.

  115. Kate says...

    So special to see your parents and hear their story, Kim! All of these couples are so wonderful :)

  116. EmBed says...

    These are all great, but I really want to know more about Kim’s parents! I want a longer more in-depth interview with them, please! I especially want to know: How did your mom’s friend meet this guy? Who was he to her? And was she single, too, and if so, why didn’t she want to keep him for herself since he seems pretty great.

    • Lee says...

      Same! I want to hear more details!

    • Y says...

      Yes, more details! I love that it was before mobile phones with cameras, but she mailed her a pic!

  117. Rachel says...

    So heartwarming and inspiring! As someone who is just starting to date again post-pandemic (and at 34 years old), this gives me hope. Make this a regular series please?!

    • C says...

      There is so much hope! I entered the pandemic in a state of crushing heartbreak after a long relationship and, after many (many, many) tears and long nights lying awake in despair, I started dating last summer when pandemic restrictions eased. I dated online and was set up by friends. I met lots of interesting people and it was an incredibly fun, enriching experience. I think dating is totally underrated.

      And then I met a smart, tall, righteous babe and we fell in love with each other! Life is surprising.

      I am 34 years old. Go get, ’em, Rachel!!!

    • H says...

      I second that!

    • DS says...

      Staring down the barrel at 40 and SAME! These stories give me hope that one day I’ll be like, ohhhh here he is :)

    • Roberta says...

      Rachel – I remember those feelings so well. I met my fiance (getting married in 6 weeks!!) on Bumble after being single for a long time when I was 33 (35 now). I never thought I would meet someone from an app and really only used it to get my (lovely but v Irish mammy) mum off my back. Dating is so wearying! I remember not being terribly engaged when I swiped on him – but he had a nice smile and an Irish rugby jersey on – and when I met him I instantly thought, “oh man – this is exactly the sort of person my mum would want me to date [rather than the complete no-hopers that I had been running after all this time]”. He was so lovely and warm and funny AND V INTO ME…and I slowly realised that the secure confidence and happiness that I was feeling was love – and it was nothing like the stressful anxiety that I had mistaken for love in previous relationships. Honestly, I know it’s so annoying when people say, “well it happened for [x] so it’ll happen for you”, but it really did happen for me and when I had no expectation that it would – courage. xx

  118. CaraM says...

    First of all, all of these stories are just so beautiful, touching, and endearing to read. It put a bright spot on a glum weather type of day here in Colorado!

    With my husband, I knew I loved him when I broke my ankle. I had to have surgery and the recovery lasted over six months. I lived by myself in a walk-up apartment downtown and had to temporarily move back in with my parents. At the time, my husband (then boyfriend) lived in Boulder – two hours away from my parents. Every Saturday, he’d drive down and hang out with me. Because I was basically living on the couch (no stairs to navigate), he’d often sit through my Dad’s Ohio State Football game watching – my husband is a tech nerd with zero interest in sports. He’d bring me copies of the Walking Dead comic books (back before it was a tv show) and chat with my parents, even though our relationship was still really new. I knew then that he was a real keeper (and trooper).
    I probably sound cliche, but I really fell in love with him again when we had our daughter. Watching him parent and working as a team together made me view him in a very different light.

  119. Iaia says...

    Hi Celeste,
    Speaking of death beds….
    I can tell you the story of when we found out my dad got another woman pregnant while he was starting dating my mom. That lady decided to keep the baby, although my dad never recognized that child. He rather left that lady to her own destiny, never revealed their existence to anybody, married my mother and had a family with her. That lady also decided to not revealed the name of the father or her child to anybody until many, many years later (50), when she finally did reveal my dad’s name to her child on her death bed. He found us. My dad had started developing Alzheimer by then, but I am pretty sure he knew who he was when his first son finally came to find him. Nevertheless, he pretended he didn’t know who he was, nor what he was talking about. We tried to get my dad to talk about it, to admit the story, he didn’t. My dad finally passed away. So, we found out we have a brother older than us, my mom was shocked to have lived with somebody that could keep such a secret for 50 years. I am still in disbelieve that this happened to us. I still consider my dad a very good dad to us, but it is very difficult to reconcile the person I know with what I learned had happen.

    • Agnès says...

      Hi Celeste and Iaia, these moments are so unreal and painful. I found out (when my dad was 89) that my dad had a son that he didn’t recognize though he knew it was his. Even though that was before he met my mother, when I told him I knew and he accepted it was true, I was devastated by his irresponsibility. I since have met his son, a very kind man; my siblings were not really shocked and I never told my mother who passed away 2 months after I got the news. I had always been fascinated by family secrets, but never expected that my family had one. I still struggle with it! I would love Cup of Jo to write a post on family secrets, I wonder how other people deal with it…

  120. Emily says...

    All such amazing stories, but I’m sitting here swooning over your parents!

    I honestly can’t remember when I fell in love with my husband. We were friends for 6 years before we started dating and liked each other nearly the whole time. I always had butterflies around him, he’s the person I’d call when driving home late at night to keep me awake, who I’d stay up with for hours listening to music. As Mimi said, I think I keep falling in love with him more the older I get. Maybe 5-6 years into our marriage when I saw just how much he, never an animal person, cared about our cat and would do ANYTHING for her, I think that solidified it for me.

  121. Claire says...

    Kim, I open up all your articles just knowing I’m in for a treat. I love your writing. All these love stories are good but your parents. Oh, so touching.

  122. Mouse says...

    I love that photo of your parents in all their 1970s glory……
    Every time I have known I was in love it was because I was laughing so hard. My first husband made me laugh so hard I actually fell down on the kitchen floor. My second, current, and last husband made me die of happiness when, after talking to his cat in weird high-pitched breathy nonsense syllables, he told a quizzical me that “That’s how they TALK!” I never looked back.

  123. celeste says...

    Oh man your parents basically fell in love with each others’ pictures! My mom died in 1997, but my dad told me in 2006 that he found out my younger brother wasn’t his. Because my mom told my brother on her death bed but never her husband. Mind. Blown. I asked, how did you meet her? He said, “She walked into a party I was at, and a lightbulb went on inside me.”

    • Kate says...

      It’s like the original internet dating! They had an epistolary relationship which, in my opinion, contains a lot of depth. They really fell in love with talking to each other, the most important foundation.

    • Iaia says...

      Hi Celeste,
      Speaking of death beds….
      I can tell you the story of when we found out my dad got another woman pregnant while he was starting dating my mom. That lady decided to keep the baby, although my dad never recognized that child. He rather left that lady to her own destiny, never revealed their existence to anybody, married my mother and had a family with her. That lady also decided to not reveal the name of the father or her child to anybody until many, many years later (50), when she finally did reveal my dad’s name to her child on her death bed. He found us. My dad had started developing Alzheimer by then, but I am pretty sure he knew who he was when his first son finally came to find him. Nevertheless, he pretended he didn’t know who he was, nor what he was talking about. We tried to get my dad to talk about it, to admit the story, he didn’t. My dad finally passed away. So, we found out we have a brother older than us, my mom was shocked to have lived with somebody that could keep such a secret for 50 years. I am still in disbelieve that this happened to us. I still consider my dad a very good dad to us, but it is very difficult to reconcile the person I know with what I learned had happen.

  124. Cat says...

    I knew I was in love with my boyfriend when we were 6 months in, and I found myself googling, “How do you know when you’re in love?” I thought, if I have to ask then I think I know my answer. He told me he loved me about a week after I asked the internet for help, and this Saturday will be our 2 year anniversary.

  125. Bea says...

    “This is a face I could fall in love with.” Excuse me while I swoon over my desk salad here!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      same!!!